Monday, April 30, 2012

UPDATED! Are Good or Bad Dreams More Upsetting?

Happy Monday!

You ever have one of those days where you're really worried about something, and then it goes over exactly how you wanted it to, and you wonder why you worried so much about it? Then you wake up in bed, and it's 3 minutes before your alarm goes off on the morning of that thing you were so worried about? Yeah...

I'm to give a final presentation for a research design project tonight, and let's just say I'm...apprehensive. The project will be an investigation into the changing role of "the victim" in the transitional phase after a civil war or period of internal struggle in which a large number of people were killed, "disappeared," etc. by government or insurgent fighting forces. How has the discourse on the transition process, which IR nerds call "Transitional Justice," changed and evolved over time, from the days when war crimes tribunals a la Nuremberg were the only option, through the Truth Commissions in Latin America and elsewhere, to the emerging focus on grassroots efforts at community healing and forgiveness on the individual AND the group level. The answer is the same as you get when you cross an elephant and a rhinoceros...elephino! El-if-i-no. 'ell if i know? tap tap is this on? But I don't know, because it's not really a project. Just a project design. Look, I could get up there and wax philosophical about a project design with one eye open, OK? But the Q&A afterward, that's what worries me. That someone's going to have a really intriguing, incisive question that I can't even begin to answer, and so I stumble through some lame platitude like "mm, thanks for asking....errr that's a really good question...errr I'll have to look into that more thankssorrynextquestion," and also I'll be in my underwear. Just kidding, that would probably net me the highest grade in the class.

Ecuador things!
1. Orientation last weekend was swell. There's only six of us! Small-group cohesion FTW?
2. Still waiting to hear the final word on my placement with the Latin American Future Foundation.
3. Professor sent out the pre-departure reading list the other day. As in the stuff I have to read between the end of finals next week and the beginning of June.The best way I can think of to describe it is. . . hefty. Luckily I'll have like a million plane trips for the undergraduate commencements of various younger brothers (mine and others') to get it done, as well as a completely random train ride up to Baltimore the last week before I leave, apparently.
4. Need to reach out to a great Quito-based professional resource one of my professors put me in touch with. Why is it that everything happens during finals?

Oh and by the way: Laura, fellow SIS part-timer and Latin Americanista, started a blog with roughly the same aim as my own, only for the Dominican Republic. So GO READ IT. I've read the first couple of posts, and it promises to be considerably better-written, as well as more focused and informative, than what you're reading at this moment.

OK, blogging-as-therapy exercise complete. Thanks for reading!

Song of the day (song I hummed to myself on the ride to work): Bat for Lashes- "Sleep Alone"

(UPDATE:) Presentation went off with barely a hitch, because I believed in myself. So, that's one more thing out of the way before the end of the semester. And this morning I remembered a second part of the dream I had yesterday- after my fictional presentation went fictionally well, I went home and played WarCraft II. Remember WarCraft II? Specifically, I think I was building a shipyard so I could make some oil tankers and "try to get that oil!". I really wanna play it now. There's nothing like a dream to make you romanticize the tedious process of ship-based resource collection in a real-time strategy game from the 90s.

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